June 25th, 2018

Review: Local production of ‘Calendar Girls’ will not disappoint

By Mo Cranker on May 13, 2017.


It was a packed opening night at the first showing of “Calendar Girls” Thursday night at the Karen Cunningham Theatre.

The play is being put on by the local theatre group Playing it Forward, and “Calendar Girls” is the group’s first attempt at putting on a show.

All proceeds from the play, the calendars they sell and any other sales the group makes are being donated to the Margery E. Yuill Cancer Centre in the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. As of Thursday the group had raised more than $16,000 for the cancer ward, with a goal of roughly $30,000.

Though there will be no spoilers here, the play — based on a true story that happened in England in the late 1990s — follows a group of older women who need to raise money for a couch. They do this by creating calendars containing semi-nude pictures of themselves.

One of the play’s biggest strengths was its ability to jump back and forth from serious and funny scenes. I never once found myself feeling cheated out of a laugh, or that a heart-warming scene ended a few seconds too early.

Another huge strength of the play is the acting. I never once noticed someone falling out of character, forgetting a line or being in the wrong place. You can pretty quickly sense the countless hours of rehearsal that would have gone into this. I don’t think it would be fair to name one or two actors who stood out to me, because they all had their moments.

The one big critique of the play doesn’t even really revolve around the play itself. It was the heat. I don’t know if the air conditioning wasn’t on, didn’t work that night, or just doesn’t work at all, but it was uncomfortably hot in the newly renovated theatre in Hat High. If you are going to this play, bring cold water and summer clothes.

All in all I think this is a very strong first effort by Playing it Forward and if you are a fan of plays, this one will not disappoint.

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